Predictably, James Harden Sure Looks Dumb When He Gets Stood Up By The Officials In Waiting For A Crucial Call
I say the following not to take away from what's been an awe-inspiring offensive display that spits directly in the face of everything you've ever been told about the beautiful game of basketball since your first lay-up line, but I needed that. Hell, at the risk of being presumptuous, I'd say we all needed that, and that 'we' includes the entirety of the NBA as well as James Harden. Again, you can't give enough credit to a player whose skill-set is unprecedented in shouldering the load for the rest of his team while they stare spellbound from beyond the arc like they are observing a piece of performance art.
That being said, you definitely can give enough calls to a player who has been bailed out so many times that he no longer fears being handcuffed by his hubris. The truth is, with the Association having about as good an understanding of lefties as they do of alien life forms and apparently just accepting that it takes James Harden more steps to gather his shot off the dribble than it takes an afternoon alcoholic to gather his balance off the barstool, I can't really blame 'The Beard' for feeling untouchable. His success rate in putting his fate in the hands of the officials must have him feeling like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable.
That's why being made to accept his mere mortality by taking what, according to usage rate, is basically his ball and walking halfway home before realizing that his personal protest of physical on-ball defense proved unsuccessful was as long overdue as it was hilarious. We're talking about someone who gets rewarded by the referees so easily and often that you'd think he was a child of their divorce. It's about damn time he was denied ice cream for dinner in being made aware that there's a coinciding risk involved with what's become an entirely understandable assumption that a whistle will always save him from looking stupid in a big spot. Seeing as every single hand check addressed to him gets bounced, a reality check was the only thing that was going to balance his account of a sport that, contrary to his experience, does encourage a little contact.